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IAAF World Championships Moscow 2013

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Isinbayeva: "Everyone will come to Moscow. And I'll be there too"

Twice Olympic champion and world record holder expects Moscow 2013 to be a grandiose festival.
- What are you feeling being a spectator at indoor competitions this season?
- I came to the Russian Championships to cheer for my training partners (Russian Championships' medalists Anton Ivakin and Artem Burya). The decision to skip the indoor season came naturally. One could have predicted it. Competing in London wasn't easy. When you're in your twenties, you can jump frequently and make numerous attempts. When you get older, you have to sort out your priorities. I can't dissipate my energies anymore. Now I must focus on certain competitions. I don't think that 30 is a kind of a borderline, that there is a whole different line at the other side. But before I could take part in 15 competitions a year. Now - I can't, because I won't be able to recover properly. Most likely we can talk about 6-7 competitions per season.
- You always say that it's important to enjoy the competitions. But don't those numerous events emasculate your emotions in a way?
- It depends on the attitude. When you have a series of competitions there is certain excitement: at how many of them I can perform on the high level. And it's easy to follow the dynamics of your shape. Of course it gets hard at times, but I've always enjoyed competing.
- A career in sports isn't just about training sessions and competitions. It's a lifestyle, isn't it?
- It is. After a workout, even if it wasn't an intense one, I feel way better, both physically and mentally. I feel like I've done something worthwile, that the day wasn't wasted. Not having the adrenaline and not experiencing the atmosphere of competitions you start to get bored. And if I let myself lie in for a day, I'll start feeling bad about myself. I mean, no one asks me to do anything, I don't really have to do anything, now I'm my own boss. But I feel like a sponger if I don't have work and activity in my life.
- Do you keep track of your results at the training sessions?
- No, I doesn't really matter. It is the technique that matters. Now I'm training to my heart's content. We haven't started the serious preparation yet. The main goal for me is to have some rest to get back the desire to create. This is how I percieve my work in the pole vault sector. The vaulting isn't a purely mechanical thing. I believe that my vaults are beautiful from the aesthetic point of view, maybe it even has something to do with art.
- If we compare it to art, what would "playing an encore" be like for you?
- Setting the world record.
- Not even the participation at the home World Championships?
- We'll live and see. I don't want to make plans. I train, work hard, have hopes. And then - there is God's will for everything. Making plans is tricky. When I voice my plans, everything tends to turn out topsy-turvy. So I'll remain silent. It will be a surprise. Many people think that Isinbayeva is an athlete from whom you can expect anything. That's great. I'm totally unpredictable. And I like it.
- Do you have any obligatory competitions this summer?
- Not at all, no one puts any pressure on me. But I'd love to go to China. There is a Diamond League meeting on May 19th. I have a lot of fans in Chine, so I'd love to perform for them.
- This lack of pressure works better for you than the situation when you have to compete and constantly win?
- I've never had too much pressure on me. Everything that was happening in my life after Beijing - it was my will, no one else's. The one and only request for me was to compete at the home Worlds. But the wording was very soft: "It would be great if you took part". And my decision on that matter will be accepted, no matter if it's positive or negative, because I did my best when I was in the shape of my life, I don't have anything left to prove. Even before the 2008 Olympics the President of the All-Russia Athletics Federation Valentin Balakhnichev told me: "You don't have anything to prove. Just enjoy the competition and forget about everything. You are the best". I loved these words and I still remember them. But I'm a very responsible person. And I want to favor all the people who help me and love me with a decent performance. To thank them for being supportive to me and athletics as a whole. So as soon as I'm ready I'll start competing.
- In august Moscow will host the first ever outdoor World Championships in the history of Russia. What do you expect from this event?
- Grandiose festival. All the stars will come. I'm so happy that Russian athletics fans will get an opportunity to see them competing live. They won't need to go anywhere, to chase anyone. Everyone will come to Moscow. And I'll be there too. In what role? Time will tell.
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Mikhail Butov:"The opening ceremony will be breathtaking. And we want it to be a surprise!"



ARAF General Secretary Mikhail Butov talks about preparations for the Moscow 2013 and reveals first details about the opening ceremony.

- Is the "Luzhniki" Big sports arena ready for the world championships? And where will the athletes prepare for the competition?

- There is only one serious work to be made at the arena - switching an artificial grass field for a natural one. And there are still some minor alterations to make: some cosmetic repairs and fresh lane markings that will be made as soon as the snow melts away. We also have two training arenas in Luzhniki - South sports complex and Sportgorodok. South arena is 100% ready and Sportgorodok requires a little more repairs. The warm-up arena, Northern sports complex, is also 100% ready. These facilities are sufficient to accomodate all the participants of the World Championships. But we will also use the "Spartak" stadium near Sokolniki metro station for convenience of the athletes that will live in the "Cosmos" hotel. This stadium will undergo renovation in May.

- How are you planning to fill the stands? When will the ticket sales start?

- Taking into account the need to secure the seats for media, VIP guests, teams and to secure the space for the big video screen and for the scene where the ceremonies will take place, we have around 35.000 spectator seats available for sale. The ticket packages are already on sale. On March 1st we'll start selling one-day tickets and session tickets.

- Will you be able to fill all the seats?

- Of course, the attendance is one of our concerns. We'll try to ensure that the stands are full for all the days of the competition. We've undertaken a number of measures already. The ticket sales are managed by well-known Russian and international ticket agencies. We hope that they will be proactive and efficient. We also have a program for involvement of sports and athletics community. We'll issue a certain number of free tickets to be distributed among young athletes, sports schools' coaches, Russian athletics officials. We also developed a special programs for involvment of kids from Moscow and Moscow oblast and veterans of Russian athletics.

- Will the Moscow IAAF World Championships differ from the previous ones? Will it be interesting for the spectators?

- The competition will last for nine days. We have both morning and evening sessions. The timetable is spectators-oriented. It was tested at the 2011 World Championships in South Korea. After Daegu IAAF altered it a bit. The Moscow 2013 timetable is already approved and finalised. I'd say it's more loyal to the spectator than it used to be. The competition will be interesting. And we'll organise entertainment zones in Luzhniki where the spectator can get a closer look and athletics and just have a good time. It will be a motivation for the young people to come to the Championships. Of course, we want this event to become an impulse for the growth of athletics' popularity in our country.

- What about the morning qualifying sessions? Will there be spectators?

- We'll try to avoid having empty stands in the mornings. The tickets for the morning sessions are much cheaper. And the kids' program is also oriented towards the sessions that are traditionally of a lower demand.

- How many participants are you planning to welcome in Moscow and where will they be accomodated?

- The official athletes' hotels are: "Cosmos", "Radisson Slavyanskaya" near Kiyevsky trains station, "Crowne Plaza" and "Golden Ring" at the Smolenskaya square. We expect to welcome approximately 2200 athletes. Plus coaches, physios etc. Around 4000 persons in total.

- Have the media accreditation process started?

- Yes. We can already say that the interest from the TV-companies is huge. We have recieved many applications from right holders.

- Can you assess the readiness for the event as a percentage?

- I can't really assess the overall readiness. If we talk about the facilities - it's around 90%. If we talk about hotels and transportation - also close to that figures. But as for the team applications, accreditation, internal logistins - the percentage is low. But for this stage of the preparations it is fine. We'll have 25 thousands of accredited persons: athletes, judges, volunteers etc. We need to organize the access areas and other logistics, catering, accomodation. It is an important and comprehensive task. We'll also try to ensure the maximal accessibility for Russian in foreign spectators in terms of visas and transportation.

- Are the international stars coming to Moscow?

- Most of the stars have already announced that the World Championships is their main focus. They are training and many of them even skip the indoor season to be in the best shape for Moscow. The stars are coming, including Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and other super stars of the world athletics. Of course, their plans may change, injuries happen and we can't do anything about it.

- What should we expect from the opening ceremony? Will it be special?

- Moscow World Championships can't have an ordinary opening ceremony. It will be beautiful and innovative. One of the innovations is the fact that it will take place in the evening, right after the evening session of the first day. There are several qualifications and 10 000 m final scheduled for the first day, and 10 000 m victory ceremony will be a part of the opening ceremony. I'm not going to reveal more details, as we want it to be a surprise, but I promise it will be spectacular.

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Day tickets on sale!

Day tickets for Moscow 2013 are on sale from March 1st. The event will take place in Luzhniki Olympic Arena from August 10th to 18th.
The day that was long-awaited by many fans of athletics has finally come! From the first day of spring you can head to the ticket offices or check the online booking page to choose the tickets for certain days of competition. And there is plenty of choice. Every day the best athletes in the world will perform for the international crowd. The rivalry between Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake in sprints, fascinating jumps of Olympic champions Ivan Ukhov and Anna Chocherova, beautiful running by London victors Natalya Antyukh and Mariya Savinova and a number of unpredictable duels and brilliant athletes.
To prevent any falsification of the tickets, unique LOC blanks with several degrees of protection are used. These are water marks, unique hologram, protective wires integrated into the paper etc. Sales and bookings are done via computer-aided systems Eventim.Sales and ArenaMarket so that you can buy Moscow 2013 tickets in any country. Online bookings can be effected via the official competition website www.mos2013.com or through the agencies in different regions of Russia. You can pay for the tickets with a credit card, e-money or in cash if you opt for a courier delivery.
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On the homestretch



Moscow 2013 day tickets sales launch and IAAF leaders’ visit covered at the press-conference held on March 6th at the Luzhniki Big Sports Arena Press Center

Press conference participants: IAAF Vice-President Sergey Bubka, IAAF General Secretary Essar Gabriel, Deputy Minister of Sports of Russia Pavel Kolobkov, ARAF Geberal Secretary Mikhail Butov, Executive Director of the LOC Aleksandr Polinskiy, First Deputy Director of Moscow Sports Department Nikolay Gulyayev, Head of the Moscow Athletics Federation Svetlana Masterkova and Director General of Luzhniki Olympic Complex Aleksandr Pronin.

Sergey Bubka in his opening speech emphasized the importance of the event that took place on March 1st – the launch of the day tickets sale. The Olympic and multiple world record holder that filling the stands is the priority of the organizers and that the Russian team deserves to be supported by the home crowd. “Six billions of people from all over the world will be able to watch broadcasts from Moscow 2013. And the impression that they’ll have will depend not only on the results, but also on how many spectators they’ll see on the stands. There were 400 000 tickets on sale overall, and the earlier the fans buy the tickets, the less they worry coming into the event.”

Pavel Kolobkov noted that the IAAF representatives rated high the LOC work. The Deputy Minister of Sports revealed that they started collecting the ticket requests from the even before the sales actually started, as the only fact that such an important global sports event is held in Russia arouses a great interest in the whole country.

Essar Gabriel expressed his satisfaction with the cooperation between the IAAF and LOC representatives. “I want to praise everyone involved. There are 160 days left until the event, and I’m very pleased with the ongoing work”.

Mikhail Butov reminded that the preparations for the XIV IAAF World Championships started six years ago, when at the IAAF Congress in Mombasa Moscow received the right to hold the event. “This month of March is the most important part of our organization process. We address to our target audience – spectators, fans, athletics lovers. We really reckon that the level of interest for Moscow 2013 will be high. We are planning to see 50 000 spectators at each of the 13 sessions (of course, there are slightly less tickets on sale). The Opening Ceremony will be colorful. There is a professional international team working on it. And the competition will be high-class». The ARAF General Secretary added that on March 10th a contest will start on the event’s official web-page (http://mos2013.com) with the competition tickets as the main prize. Another contest will be held during the All-Russia kids competition “Youth Spike” held in the end of March in Kazan. We are also developing a special program for kids to attend the World Championships”.

Aleksandr Pronin assured the journalists the all the Luzhniki area will be renovated for Moscow 2013. “We are proud to host the World Championships. And we are doing ever more than required. We decided that we’ll renovate and clear up all the Olympic complex that includes not only the unique arena, but also the green scenic areas. The renovation of the Big Sports Arena is 90% complete, the track surface has been replaced. There is only one big thing left to do – to replace the synthetic pitch by a natural one.

Aleksandr Polinskiy thanked the IAAF representatives involved in the monitoring of Moscow 2013 preparations. “They are working really hard. Thanks to our close communication, consultations and even debates, we’re constantly moving forward. There is a very important event scheduled for the beginning of April: Moscow will host the IAAF Council meeting. So we can say that the World Championships’ preparations have entered the homestretch”.


After the main part of the press-conference the official design of the Moscow 2013 ticket was presented.

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Savinova's diaries



In her first entry of the IAAF diary the Olympic and world champion Mariya Savinova writes about new apartment, love for cooking, meteorite and, of course about the preparations for Moscow 2013

“Hi everybody. To be honest, I’m writing this diary entry between washing the windows! After the Olympics, I now finally have my own home, a place which is only mine and my husband’s. The apartment is situated in the Moscow region, and our neighbour is actually also an Olympic champion, the 2008 4x100m Relay gold medallist Yuliya Gushchina.

In the last month I’ve been really busy with choosing the furniture and all small things that should be in an ideal home. I designed the style myself, I’d say it’s close to minimalism. We have only one big wardrobe, all other pieces are not taller than my waist. Everything is in warm beige colours, apart from the kitchen, which is green. We’ve thought green is a good colour for the appetite:)

Actually the kitchen is the place where I spend most of my time now! After we moved in, I discovered my love for cooking. Before, I was not a big fan of it, maybe because I didn’t have my own kitchen, but now I’m cooking meat dishes, baking puddings and making different desserts. My husband Alexey is shocked; he said he never expected his wife could be as good as this. Unfortunately, his comfortable and tasty lifestyle will soon be coming to an end, at least for a while, as we will be leaving for a training camp again!

Changing the subject, the meteorite crash in my home town of Chelyabinsk is still a big shock. I cried when I heard the news. I thought: 'How can this be, that out of the whole world this meteor only hit my home town?! I was not there at that moment, but my family still lives there. I tried to call my mom, but during the first hour after I heards the news I could not reach her because the mobile network was overloaded; these were the worst of moments. When we finally talked, my mom said the windows on the first floor entrance to her house had been broken. Fortunately, the windows in her apartment survived: otherwise she would have been freezing, considering the temperature outside was about -20. My small nephew, first-year school boy, was at his lessons, when the windows in the hall near his classroom were just blown away. He got really frightened and started crying.

On a happier note, I’ve had some really nice invitations after the Olympics, and I regret I could not accept all of them. For example, for the third year running, I could not go to the IAAF Gala in November, and this time it was the Centenary party in Barcelona. I’d really love to but, as usual, I was at the time in the middle of a training camp. Hopefully next season I will get an invitation from the IAAF again… and this time I’ll plan everything better. After all, this is one of the rare chances to wear an evening dress and heels – and I love it!

Another unfulfilled dream so far is to try alpine skiing but it seems my family will never let me do this. Several years ago, I wanted to do a parachute jump, but my mom said she would never talk to me again if I ever dared. Now I realize this is a bit too extreme for me, but alpine skiing, mmm… although, for sure, I am not going to try this while I am an active athlete. Afterwards, we’ll see. I may be able to convince my family at last!

Talking about my training, everything has been going great. I started jogging in the mid-October, and in January my coach was already asking: ‘Masha, why are you running so fast?!’ I ran my training PB over 2000m and also did some great intervals. But after that, unfortunately I got sick, and we decided to let my body fully recover. My first training camp for the outdoor season starts next week on 11 March and I'm going to Kyrgyzstan. I’m already looking forward, and how great it will be if I come to my home World Champs in my top shape.

That’s it for now. Now it’s time to finish washing the windows. Take care.”

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Moscow 2013 on Facebook and Twitter

With 5 months to go until the XIV IAAF World Championships we are pleased to invite you to join Moscow 2013 in social networks
Several days ago the Moscow 2013 Twitter accounts were launched. Follow us in English @mos2013com or in Russian @mos2013ru and you won't miss a single update of the official website! To make your tweets about the event noticed and to make the event trending, use hashtag #Moscow2013!
And today, on March 10th, with exactly 5 months until the first competition events and the opening ceremony of the World Championships, we invite to "like" Moscow 2013 official Facebook page. It is also available in two languages: English and Russian.
There you will find not only the latest news, but also lots of multimedia and action: pictures and videos, historical flashbacks, polls and contests, useful information about Moscow. Visit our Facebook page right now and check out the video address to all the athletics fans by Sergey Shubenkov! Like, add to your "interests" and share!
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Sergey Bubka: "World Championships is an immense event"

The pole vault world record holder recently visited Moscow as a part of the IAAF delegation and took time to share his thoughts on the event's organisation and promotion and on... Usain Bolt
- Sometimes I think that sports events that are held in Russia don’t get the attention they deserve. What feelings do you have about the Moscow 2013 IAAF World Championships?
- Every World Championships in athletics is an immense event. I think it’s great that this event will be held in the capital of Russia. This country knows what Olympic medals (including the ones in athletics, of course) are worth. I do agree with you, but we have to change this kind of a public attitude. Step by step: engaging the kids, the youth in sports activities. The big competitions can really influence the public; they can create an interest for sports, a desire for doing sports.
- Don’t you think that we are a long way behind many countries when it comes to creating the buzz around the events, promoting them.
- There are certain objective reasons for that. The nineties, when Russian people didn’t live a normal life, they were trying to survive instead. Those years left a mark on the society. That’s why I think that now we really have to advocate sports, to always invent some ways to captivate the audience, to make people actually come to watch sports events. Especially in Moscow, where so many sports events are held. And there are always some stars taking part. Moscow 2013 will be truly unique. An opportunity to see Usain Bolt in action from the stands is priceless. For the athletes it’s also very important to have a big crowd at the stadium. The spectators are in fact “accomplices” of athletes’ achievements. They inspire and motivate the athletes to perform at the highest level.
- Being a spectator yourself now, are you still most captivated by the pole vault?
- I’m not only a spectator, I work in athletics, and so during the events I try and pay attention to everything. The audience, the judges, the athletes’ behavior, the TV-crew at work, the advertising. My desire to secure the ideal organization of Moscow 2013 is one of the reasons why I’m interested in all aspects of events in athletics. Being a chairman of the Moscow 2013 Coordination Commission, I’m responsible for strategic preparation: observance of deadlines, propriety of marketing program, provision of accommodation and transportation for athletes and coaches etc. I really want to see a lot of spectators in Luzhniki. I was an athlete and I know what it’s like to compete at an empty stadium, and how the support from the crowd can motivate.
- Is there anything in modern athletics that can really surprise you? For example, do you understand how Usain Bolt manages to run so fast?
- It is sport’s nature: from time to time we see the athletes that can absolutely destroy all the stereotypes. Usain is a unique personality. Not only for athletics, but for the sport as a whole. From ancient times there were three main sports-related questions: who runs the fastest, who jumps the highest and who lifts the heaviest weight.
- What’s his phenomenon, in your opinion?
- All brilliant things tend to seem so easy. Just look at Usain. He runs effortlessly. He can afford to look round during a sprint. And it doesn’t affect his posture, his stride. It proves his highest class and his abilities.
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Russian Moscow 2013 medal plan is revealed



Russian head coach Valentin Maslakov talks about Russian training camps locations and reveals the medal plan for the home World Championships

- Where will the Russian team get ready for Moscow 2013?

- The home World Championships is the main competition of this season, apparently. The team will use its traditional training camps in Russia (Kislovodsk, Sochi, Adler, Cheboksary) as well as in Portugal and Kirgizia. Approximately one month before the event the athletes will gather in Novogorsk (Moscow district). We are very thankful to our Ministry of Sports and personally to the Minister Vitaliy Mutko for the newly built facilities in Novogorsk. The were very useful prior to the London Olympics. So we’ll use Novogorsk before the home Worlds. But we’ll also have to perform well at the Kazan World Universiade this summer.

- Are the medal plans for Moscow 2013 and Rio 2016 approved?

- In Moscow we intend to win gain 18 medals, 6-8 of them – gold, taking into account that we’ll be competing at home. In my opinion it’s even more difficult to compete in your country, but we’ll still try to secure the second place in the medal table, and if we’re lucky, we’ll even try and fight for the first place. As for Rio, the medal plan is the same as for London. At this point we’re trying to figure out where to hold a training camp before Rio. The time difference with Moscow is seven hours. We’re considering Portugal, the time difference with Moscow there is 4 hours, with Brazil – 3 hours. Maybe we’ll use this country for acclimatization.

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It's going to be very difficult for Russia to be in first place at the World Championships due to one glaring weakness on their team: the short sprints (100 and 200 meters) and the shorter hurdles (110 and 100). Except for Sergey Shubenkov, Russia has no legit contender in any of those events. Barring a total collapse of the Americans, Jamaicans and the Aussie Sally Pearson, Russia will not medal in any of the shorter sprints or hurdles outside of Shubenkov. First place isn't realistic for Russia.

Russia though does have a realistic shot at second place. They have a very good shot at preventing Sanya Richards Ross from getting her second world championship gold and Lashinda Demus from repeating in the 400 hurdles. In fact, it's not unrealistic to say that Russia finishes second at the World Championships. Their strength lies in the field events.

Safe to say that unless barring a total collapse, the United States will be atop the medal stand again in Moscow.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Balakhnichev breaks down Moscow 2013 organisation process


The ARAF President talks about the progress in the World Championships preparations

- What is the ARAF role as a member of the LOC?

- The Federation is responsible for the Moscow 2013 organisation to the IAAF. The level of IAAF monitoring is very high, and it is effected with the help of the ARAF. Of course, we’re not organising this event alone. It would be impossible without our Moscow colleagues, particularly the Direction of sports and entertainment events of Moscow. There were cases when the whole organization process for the Championships was carried out by commercial organisations. They hired the staff and recruited the volunteers. In those cases the role of the government wasn’t crucial. In Russia the situation with sponsorship is totally different. So the main stake of the event’s budget comes from the budget of Moscow and the Ministry of Sports. Several per cent of the budget comes from ARAF as well.

- What are the main functions of the ARAF?

- All that happens at the arena is our responsibility. We take care of judges’ recruitment, supervise the renovation of the venues, control the quality of the track. We also render the LOC assistance with an acquisition of necessary equipment for training purposes. And of course we assist the IAAF with everything related to organisation process monitoring.

- Numerous IAAF site visits have already taken place. And after each visit the LOC got positive feedback. Was it difficult to achieve?

- Site visits are a part of a standard procedure. But there is titanic work done by the LOC, the Government of Moscow, the Russian Government and, of course, the Ministry of Sports on the everyday basis. When you organise such a global event, you inevitably have to face with different approaches and traditions in event organisation. Anyway, the event has to be of a highest level. The World Championships is the main IAAF product, the main source of sponsorship and marketing deals, sales of TV-rights. And maintains the IAAF international profile, of course.

- What do you mean by “different approaches and traditions in event organisation”?

- It’s often easier to organise an event in Europe than in Russia. It’s not that our country is worse. It’s just about the properties of the legislation. Russia isn’t a member of the European Union, so a number of questions arise. For example, we have to deal with visas. We’re expecting to welcome around 5000 guests. It is a serious task to do, and we have to reimburse the visa expenses. Another point: various TV-equipment will be brought to Russia. It should be imported and exported within certain time period. It’s a huge logistic task. We also have to provide transportation for all accredited persons. You know that traffic in Moscow is heavy. But we have means to facilitate the transportation around the city for our guests. We promised to secure the use of dedicated lanes and in certain cases - even police escort. Last but not least, there will be around 3000 media representatives covering the event on-site. We need to accredit, accommodate everyone, to make sure they all have an access to the information at the stadium.

- How is the judges’ recruitment going?

- We started to work on that three years ago. Our goal was to renew the panel and to give the judges an opportunity to work at all major events held in Russia. National Championships are especially important as a test event. More than 1000 athletes take part, so many judges are needed. It is kind of comparable with the World Championships.

- During the last IAAF site visit you said that the Luzhniki renovation is 90% complete. What are those last 10%?

- We are currently purchasing the stadium equipment. The track has already been installed. By the time of the Championships the synthetic pitch will be replaced by the natural one. Anyway, there is much more left to do: the security system, accreditation procedure, TV-related technical issues and so on. Those 90% relate only to the competition part.

- Was it difficult to find appropriate hotels?

- Not really, even though we are expecting so many participants and quests. Moscow has quite a lot of hotels. The main IAAF Family Hotel will be the Radisson Royal Ukraina hotel. It’s convenient to get from there to the stadium via the embankment. The athletes will be accommodated in several hotels; the most distant from Luzhniki is the Cosmos Hotel. The Moscow Government negotiated the prices and as far as I’m concerned, the price level is decent. All official hotels will provide high level of comfort and high-quality meals.

- What aspect of organising process was the most difficult for you as the ARAF President?

- The organising process is still ongoing. I think that the most difficult problems are those that lie ahead. One thing is to take part and meetings and do visa-related paperwork, another thing is to actually have all those guests and participants on-site. And, of course, we might have to deal with the attendance issue. If we fail to correspond to high standards set by London 2012, it will be a big problem. We didn’t see empty stands at any of recent athletics events. But I hope that the level of public attention towards Moscow 2013 will be high. Our event is held just one year after Olympics, and all of the London 2012 stars are coming to Moscow.

- You anticipated my question about attendance…

- Life in Moscow is oversaturated with events. So it’s not easy to predict how Muscovites will react to an event. But I have a feeling that the interest in the World Championships is high not only in Moscow, but also in other regions of Russia. We receive many ticket requests from all over the country. Regional athletics federations are taking care of providing everyone with relevant information on that matter. In addition to this, we will issue free tickets for people who work in athletics. Anyway, if our attendance expectations aren’t fulfilled, we’ll invite more kids. I’m sure they’ll enjoy watching athletics.

- Are you going to resort to the military to fill the empty seats?

- Nobody really does that anymore. At least we don’t have any relevant experience. I’m talking about inviting the pupils of the sports schools. And basically all the kids that have vacation in the summer. We’ll secure some free tickets for them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I suppose that the Russians are late starters and will buy tickets as soon as the World Championships are about to begin.

There was hardly any enthusiasm either in Germany four months before the 2009 World Championships in Berlin started. Back then, the WCH organisers staged a tour through many larger German cities in order to raise the awareness and anticipation in Germany. I reported for my newspaper about that tour's stage in our region - and I still remember how disappointed I as an athletics fan was because hardly any of the passers-by cared about the tour truck. I even got the impression that the organisers were happy whenever they were able to hand out WCH tickets to those few passers-by who dared to join in the games offerd around the tour truck (I seem to remember that you could try high jumping, among others, there - and there you could win tickets). It seemed as if the organisers had gotten the impression that they wouldn't sell any additional tickets and therefore were well-advised to raffle them.

A rather depressing experience, if you ask me. But look what finally became of the 2009 WCH in Berlin - mostly filled stadia and a great atmosphere created by passionate fans. So I wouldn't throw in the towel for Moscow that early.

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I think T&F should just stay with their IAAF championships. They should be kicked out of the Olympix. It would make it easier and less expensive to stage. Stay away, IAAF!!

Sorry, but that's a load of bull. Athletics still are the focal point of each Olympics, and London's Olympic Stadium was a constant sell-out during the athletic competitions. If there's a surrounding where athletics are the most successful (also commercially), then it's the Olympics. IAAF World Championships, on the other hand, are not always an economical success.

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Diack meets the mayor of Moscow

This Friday the IAAF President Lamine Diack met the mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin to discuss the preparations for the 14th IAAF World Championships Moscow 2013 that will take place in Luzhniki on 10-18 August
Lamine Diack expressed gratitude for Moscow government’s help in the organization process of Moscow 2013. “We are proud that we had chosen Moscow to host the World Championships. It will be a celebration of IAAF World Championships’ anniversary in a way, as the first edition of this event was held in 1983 in Helsinki. I want to thank you for your support. You didn’t have any doubts about using the funds from the city’s budget for the successful organization of the competition. I see that you respect the importance of the World Championships as the only event except for the Olympics that gathers participants from more than 200 countries. I hope that 210 Athletics Federations will be represented in Moscow”, Lamine Diack said. He also touched upon the importance of a proactive promotional campaign.
Sergey Sobyanin reported that 23 thousands of tickets for the event were already sold. He reassured Diack that the stands would be full during the competition. But Sobyanin agreed that reinforcement of advertising campaign is needed. The mayor of Moscow said that all planned organizational activities would be carried out in time. On the current stage the main aim of the LOC is to make the sports facilities and hotels ready to welcome the athletes, officials, sponsors and journalists.
Deputy mayor of Moscow Aleksandr Gorbenko, IAAF Vice-President Sergey Bubka, Deputy Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov, head of Moscow Department for Sports Aleksey Vorobyev, ARAF President Valentin Balakhnichev, director of the Directorate of sports and entertainment events of Moscow Aleksandr Polinskiy, head of the Moscow Athletics Federation Svetlana Masterkova and other officials also assisted at the meeting.
On 6 and 7 April Moscow will host the IAAF Counsil Meeting. Each day’s session will be concluded with a media-briefing hosted by IAAF Communications Director Nick Davies. On 8 April a final Lamine Diack’s press-conference will be held. All the events take place in the “Radisson Royal” hotel.
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Sorry, but that's a load of bull. Athletics still are the focal point of each Olympics, and London's Olympic Stadium was a constant sell-out during the athletic competitions. If there's a surrounding where athletics are the most successful (also commercially), then it's the Olympics. IAAF World Championships, on the other hand, are not always an economical success.

And adding to this, Baron: Do you think it's economically more sensible to build or renovate an Olympic Stadium just for staging the opening and closing ceremony there, without any additional purpose during the Games? So it makes perfect sense to have a stadium which hosts the ceremonies as well as sports events during the Games. It's bad enough that there are Olympic Stadia built for Winter Olympics that host nothing else than the ceremonies (like in Sochi, even if it will be used also after the Games).

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Its because there is no large enough stadium in the USA that can host the event.

Of course. Besides, all of the Olympic Stadiums after each US Olympics is converted into something else (Baseball Stadium, NFL Stadium or MLS Stadium or non-sports venue).

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